DNA researcher Matt Harnden at Trent University’s Wildlife Forensic DNA Laboratory, working out of Peterborough, Ontario, analyzed six popular chicken sandwiches served at various fast food chains. Unadulterated chicken should have 100% chicken DNA, or close to it. Seasoning, marinating or processing meat bring that number down some , so fast food wouldn’t be expected to have a perfect score.
The chicken in the following sandwiches were tested: McDonald’s Country Chicken – Grilled,Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich, A&W Chicken Grill Deluxe,Tim Hortons Chipotle Chicken Grilled Wrap, Subway Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich, and Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki, which is made with chicken strips.
The lab tested two samples of five of the chicken meat fillings, and one sample of the Subway strips. From each of those samples, the researchers isolated three smaller samples and tested each of those. The scores were then averaged for each sandwich. The results?
The A&W Chicken Grill Deluxe averaged 89.4 per cent chicken DNA
The McDonald’s Country Chicken – Grilled averaged 84.9 per cent chicken DNA
Tim Hortons Chipotle Chicken Grilled Wrap averaged 86.5 per cent chicken DNA
Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich averaged 88.5 per cent chicken DNA
And Subway’s chicken sandwiches?
Just 53.6 per cent chicken DNA was in the chicken used in the Oven Roasted. For the alleged chicken strips in the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki, there was 42.8 per cent chicken DNA, and the rest God knows what.
All right, it was mostly soy.
Subway said in a statement that it “disagrees with the test results.” Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?
“Our recipe calls for one per cent or less of soy protein in our chicken products,” they said.
Ah! Well if your recipe calls for that, then the tests must be wrong then! Thanks for the clarification!
“We will look into this again with our supplier to ensure that the chicken is meeting the high standard we set for all of our menu items and ingredients.”
Sure! Why wouldn’t anyone trust you to do the right thing now that you have been caught?
My guess is that Subway figured that since there is so much other stuff in a typical sub sandwich, nobody would notice if the “chicken” was half soy. I wonder how long they have been pulling this? I know this was the Canadian version of the chain, but since Canada is a nanny state paradise where all the children are above average and the government employs hoards of well-paid inspectors who live to enforce regulations and make certain that no company would dare to stick a chicken-rat, er, chicken-soy hybrid in a chicken sandwich, we have to assume that the Subway chicken in the U.S. is even worse, right?
Fortunately, I gave up eating at Subway after I got tired of having to explain to their untrained staff that nooooo, you don’t put mayonnaise on an Italian Sub, and come to think of it, any joint called Subway that thinks an Italian sub should have mayonnaise probably thinks chicken should be 50% soy. (And, of course, their foot long subs weren’t really a foot long.)
Yes, my friends, this is misrepresentation, false advertising, and worst of all, bad taste.